FC Bayern Munich board member Jörg Wacker has become the latest German sports and business figurehead to criticise the online betting restrictions of the nation’s ‘Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling’ inbound for 2021.
Despite Lander (state) consensus being reached on eliminating restrictions on online casino products, Germany’s Bundesrat (Federal Council) maintains controversial requirements attached to sports betting, restricting monthly player deposits to €1000 and yet to be determined in-play wagering bet types.
Speaking to German tabloid BILD, Wacker advises Lander (state) executives to revise their agreed federal mandate on sports betting as ‘the regulation does not fit market realities’.
Wacker, the former Managing Director of Bwin Deutschland, who has served as a Bayern Munich executive board member since 2013 overseeing the football club’s internationalisation projects, detailed scepticism as to whether Treaty provisions would end market uncertainties.
Speaking on the German market’s current context, Wacker stated: “The term illegal is completely unsuitable for the majority of German operators, who hold EU licenses and are sanctioned by Schleswig-Holstein” (the only federal state to issue online betting licences).
“The legal situation has not been clarified for 15-years, but that does not mean that operators are illegal. German bookmakers paid €500 million in tax revenues last year, meaning that there is a legal basis in which they operate.”
The executive would defend Bayern Munich against criticism of its sponsorship with bookmaker Tipico, stating that the Bavarian club only partnered with ‘market leaders’.
Wacker would retort Bundesrat justifications for the Treaty’s strict in-play wagering and monthly €1000 deposit restrictions, as a means of better controlling sports integrity and gambling addiction.
He added: “Is it really like that? If products like in-play betting and poker are allowed does Germany suddenly become a land of gambling addicts… Sodom and Gomorrah! These products have been offered in Germany without restrictions for over a decade now and that outcome has simply not happened.
“The same applies to game manipulation. A €1000 deposit limit and a ban on live betting carry the greater risk of consumers migrating to the black market, where they will wager higher amounts. The black market is easy to find these days, so we are better off keeping players legal.”
Wacker’s comments follow the publication of a letter sent by Mathias Dahms, President of the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV), where he warned Bundesrat warning officials of black market consequences should wagering restrictions be maintained.
Dahms underlined the DSWV continued stance that Interstate Treaty provisions in their current frameworks would fail in any attempt to create an effective consumer channelization strategy for regulated market incumbents.